The Bishop Erik Pontopiddian collects eyewitness reports

The Natural History of Norway, is a comprehensive two-volume work published by the Bishop Erik Pontopiddian between 1751 and 1753. It is a study of the animal life and geography of Norway and contains many insights.  There are chapters on Norway’s soils and mountains, sea-vegetables, birds, fish and fisheries among many other topics. Pontopiddian states the care he has taken to assemble the volumes, and there is good reason, as he goes on to say “I foresee that when some readers come to read the contents of the eighth chapter, concerning the Mer-maid, the great Sea-snake, of several hundred feet long and the Krake[n], whose uncommon size seems to exceed belief, they may suspect me of too much credulity.” [ref] The natural history of Norway : containing a particular and accurate account of the temperature of the air,the different soils, waters, vegetables, metals, minerals, stones, beasts, birds, and fishes : together with the dispositions, customs, and manner of living of the inhabitants : interspersed with physiological notes from eminent writers, and transactions of academics : in two parts by Pontoppidan, Erich, 1698-1764; translated Berthelson, Andreas, b. ca. 1716; 1755  [/ref] Pontopiddian tries to be as scientific as possible, and goes… Continue reading